If an underinsured or uninsured driver has hurt you, you shouldn’t have to pay for your own medical expenses and property damage, potentially while suffering lost income due to your injuries. The seasoned North and South Carolina uninsured accident attorneys at DeMayo Law Offices can help.
One of the most frustrating experiences in life is when you do everything right and you still end up feeling like you are the one being punished. A typical example is when you are driving down the road and out of nowhere, a driver slams into your vehicle – but this isn’t just any driver; it is an uninsured driver.
Insurance analysts Insurance analysts estimate that almost one in eight U.S. motorists are driving uninsured or underinsured. These negligent, underinsured or uninsured drivers aren’t just putting themselves at risk; they are putting your physical and financial future at risk.
At DeMayo Law Offices, Your North Carolina Law Firm™, we don’t think you should be punished because you had a run-in with a negligent, uninsured or underinsured driver. Not only is this behavior reckless, but it is also illegal. Holding the at-fault driver or your insurance company accountable can be difficult and frustrating. That’s where the North and South Carolina legal team at DeMayo Law Offices comes in.
We strive to help victims of uninsured motorist accidents find the compensation they need to pay for their expenses and losses. Let one of our experienced North or South Carolina uninsured accident attorneys help you recover the financial reward you deserve. We can review your case and go over the most appropriate options for your situation. Contact us today by calling (877) 333-1000 and scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation.
Do You Need an Attorney for an Underinsured/Uninsured Driver Claim?
Yes, a car accident lawyer can be vital if you have been injured in an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver. Uninsured motorist claims can be difficult to untangle. You may be unsure who to turn to for compensation.
The process can get frustrating, and many victims give up and shoulder the expense themselves. Being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver shouldn’t mean that you must bear all the physical and financial consequences.
A skilled DeMayo Law Offices attorney will be able to analyze the circumstances of your accident and help you determine the best legal option for obtaining compensation for your injuries. Whether it is holding the negligent driver accountable in court or going head to head with your own insurance company, the legal team at DeMayo Law Offices, Your North Carolina Law Firm™, has what it takes to aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.
North Carolina Insurance Laws
Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that comes with certain responsibilities. Just as the law requires all drivers to pass a driving test in order to obtain a driver’s license, the law requires that all drivers obtain auto insurance.
The state of North Carolina requires all drivers with a valid license to carry the state minimum continuous liability insurance coverage provided by a licensed in-state insurance company. The minimum insurance coverage is as follows:
- $30,000 for bodily injury liability (one person)
- $60,000 for bodily injury liability (two or more people)
- $25,000 for property damage
This basic coverage is meant to pay for the medical bills and property damage that can occur following a car accident. Liability coverage strictly applies to the damages incurred by the other driver; liability coverage does not cover your injuries or property damage. Insurance companies provide plans that cover both your damages and those of the other driver, but the costs can vary.
An additional type of coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, can help cover your losses if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. However, as with every policy, it is important to read the fine print. U
Uninsured motorist coverage is not the same thing as underinsured motorist coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage can be important if you are involved in an accident with a motorist whose policy won’t cover all your losses.
South Carolina Insurance Laws
To lawfully drive in South Carolina, you must acquire liability and uninsured motorist coverage. Liability and physical damage are the two main categories of auto insurance coverage.
Under South Carolina Tort Law, auto liability insurance policies include three major components: bodily injury liability insurance, property damage liability insurance, and uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage.
- South Carolina requires you to carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 in total coverage for all people injured in a single accident.
- Property damage liability insurance covers any damage you cause to other people’s property. South Carolina’s minimum limit for all property damage in a single accident is $25,000.
- According to South Carolina law, your uninsured motorist coverage must be at least as high as your liability coverage (25/50/25). Usually, there is a $200 deductible.
Auto insurance physical damage coverage protects against harm to the insured’s car. Collision coverage and comprehensive coverage are the two most popular types.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in North Carolina
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without proper insurance. North Carolina strictly enforces this policy and can keep tabs on drivers who fail to continuously carry coverage continuously. Insurance companies are actually required to notify the North Carolina Division of Motor vehicles when liability insurance on a vehicle is canceled or the coverage has lapsed.
When this happens, the NC Department of Motor Vehicles will send out a termination notification to the vehicle’s registered owner. If the owner does not respond, they may face civil penalties, late fees, interest payments, and the revocation of the vehicle’s license plate. North Carolina will assess the following penalties for failure to maintain proper insurance:
- 1st Insurance Lapse – $50 fee
- 2nd Insurance Lapse – $100 fee
- Subsequent Insurance Lapses – $150 fee
In addition to the above fees, a driver may also face a $50 restoration fee at the time of their vehicle registration renewal period.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in South Carolina
The penalties for driving without car insurance in South Carolina differs based on the number of offenses.
- $550 uninsured motorist surcharge
- $5 each day for each day you went without insurance
- Up to a maximum of $200 in fines or 30 days in jail, or both.
You risk revoking your license and registration until you prove that you have auto insurance.
All the penalties for driving without insurance in South Carolina that apply to the first offense apply to the second offense. You will be fined and sentenced to up to 30 days in prison. A second offense is considered a criminal misdemeanor in South Carolina and is permanently noted on your criminal record.
If you commit a third offense, the fees and penalties listed above apply, but your jail time will be increased to 45 days to six months. You will also be required to purchase an SR-22 and pay a fee of up to $400 to reinstate your license and registration.
Should You Pursue a Claim Against an Uninsured Driver?
You could face significant medical treatment bills if you have been seriously injured. Just because a driver has been negligent in their duty to carry insurance doesn’t mean you should suffer the financial consequences of their poor judgment. There are ways to recover compensation, and a skilled North or South Carolina DeMayo Law Offices attorney can review your case and lay out all of your legal options.
The first option you can pursue is filing an accident claim with your own insurance company. While this seems like an option that you could handle on your own, having our attorneys on your side can increase your chances of successfully filing a claim and negotiating for a sum that will cover your medical bills, property damage, and lost income.
North Carolina is a unique state in that it follows what is known as the “contributory negligence” rule. This rule states that anyone who bears even the slightest amount of fault for causing an accident will be barred from receiving any type of financial compensation whatsoever. That means that even if the other driver is 99 percent at fault for an accident, but you are 1 one percent to blame as well, you will not be able to receive compensation. You will only be able to collect it if the other driver is 100 percent to blame.
Many drivers find the contributory negligence rule harsh. Not only does this rule guide the courts, but it also guides insurance adjusters as well. That makes it easy for an insurance adjuster to pick apart your claim and deny you the money you need. That’s why it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel immediately following a car accident with an uninsured driver.
An car accident attorney can piece together the accident and gather critical evidence that will strengthen and support your case for compensation.
Victims of accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists may also be able to recover compensation by filing a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. In North Carolina, a victim has three years from the date of the accident to file a suit. This is known as the statute of limitations. Again, it is important for drivers to remember that the contributory negligence rule will apply here as well.
In North Carolina, a victim must file a suit within three years of the accident. This is known as the statute of limitations. Again, drivers must remember that the contributory negligence rule will apply here.
Under South Carolina’s modified comparative negligence law, plaintiffs can file a personal injury lawsuit if they are less than 51% responsible for an accident. As long as 51% of the accident fault lies with the other party, the other party will be liable.
It can be complicated trying to decide what option is suitable for the circumstances of your particular case. If you have been hurt in an accident with an uninsured motorist, it is in your best interest to contact the experienced uninsured motorist law firm of DeMayo Law Offices immediately. Our North and South Carolina legal team can review your case and advise you on your legal options and pick which option is best for your situation. Take the guesswork out of getting the compensation you deserve and contact DeMayo Law Offices, Your North Carolina Law Firm™, to schedule a no-obligation case review today.
How Can DeMayo Law Offices Help in Uninsured Car Accident Cases?
After an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you may feel taken advantage of. Where is the compensation you deserve for your injuries, damaged property, and lost income? Who should you turn to for a resolution if the other driver has no insurance? The answer is the North and South Carolina legal team at DeMayo Law Offices.
At DeMayo Law Offices, our North and South Carolina attorneys have the experience and the resources to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve following an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. We will work with you to gather the facts of your case, investigate your accident, and lay out your best legal options. We can advise you through the entire process, negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf, or take a negligent driver or insurance company to court. We are not afraid to get aggressive in order to make sure you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Contact DeMayo Law Offices, Your North Carolina Law Firm™, today if you or someone close to you has been hurt in an accident with an uninsured driver. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us by calling (877) 333-1000 today.